Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Several years ago, a car rental service named Silvercar burst onto the rental car scene by offering a fleet composed exclusively of Audi luxury vehicles.
Fans raved about the ability to reserve a guaranteed luxury rental — no elite status or upgrades required — oftentimes for not a whole lot more than the price you’d pay for a “normal” car through a rental agency.
Then, a few years after Silvercar had emerged, the company was bought by Audi and renamed Silvercar by Audi, and just recently was renamed again — to Audi on demand.
On a recent weekend trip to Miami, I knew I would need a rental car. I decided to look into Audi on demand for this trip as I’d just spoken with a friend who had done the same thing in Miami a few weeks prior and had a good experience.
I did some digging and found that I could rent a luxury Audi SUV for not much more than a more mainstream vehicle of similar size rented through Hertz. And thanks to a discount from one of my credit cards, the deal became even sweeter.
Read on to see what my experience was like and if I’d rent from Audi on demand again in the future.
Audi on demand is a car rental platform wholly owned by Audi. It offers a fleet of all-Audi vehicles (no surprise there) that includes the compact A4 sedan, the compact Q5 SUV, the mid-size, 3-row Q7 SUV, the A5 coupe and convertible, and the E-Tron all-electric vehicle (EV).
A number of services like vehicle delivery and pickup are offered, and Audi on demand vehicles all come equipped with Audi’s “Digital Cockpit,” which is an all-digital instrument cluster, and other features like in-car Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more.
Audi on demand operates in select markets across the country. Currently, it offers 43 locations across 16 states (here’s a list of specific locations). Though, unlike the pre-Audi ownership days, you can’t pick up or drop off your rentals at the airport, but rather at Audi dealerships, which could be a deterrent to some renters.
Before I reserved my rental, I made sure to sign up for the Audi on demand Premium Rewards loyalty program. Members earn 1 point for every eligible dollar spent on rentals. In this case, I earned 216 points. According to Upgraded Points research, each Audi on demand Premium Rewards point is worth about 9.5 cents, and you can use points to cover the cost of rentals.
I found that Audi on demand offers more or less competitive pricing with rental car agencies. Let’s take a look at the pricing for both Hertz and Audi on demand that I recorded for my 3-day rental (this included the weekend) at the Audi North Miami location.
Note that all rates are prepaid and do not include any agency-provided insurance policy. Of course, rental rates vary depending on the time of year, demand, and many more factors, so don’t take these examples as law. As always, shop around before you make any reservations so that you can be sure you’re making the best decision.
Audi on demand
If we were to compare the 2 most natural competitors in the marketplace, the Audi A4 and the Infiniti Q50, Audi on demand undercut Hertz by quite a large margin.
Hertz did have Audi on demand beat in some areas — the Tesla Model 3 rang in at a reasonable $289 while the EV option at Audi on demand, the E-Tron, came in at $429. However, it’s worth noting that the E-Tron is an SUV while the Model 3 is a sedan, and it’s also larger and more luxurious than the Model 3.
It’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, but based on the quality of car I could rent and the relatively minor price differential for the car I wanted (I was deciding between the Q5 and the “Medium SUV” category with Hertz), it seemed like Audi on demand was worth it.
And, before I booked, I remembered that there is a discount on Audi on demand rentals for Visa Infinite cardholders. This meant that as a Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholder, I could receive a 20% discount on my rental, bringing the $300 quote you see above down to $242 total. It’s also a good idea to check your Chase Offers or Amex Offers to see if there are any opportunities to save additional cash-back with Audi on demand with your credit card.
For just a $36 premium, I could rent a brand-new Audi Q5 instead of a ho-hum Chevy Equinox or something similar — I was sold on Audi on demand!
Hot Tip: Even if you don’t have a Visa Infinite card, Audi on demand is offering a 15% rental discount for first-time renters with the code FIRST15.
Insurance is not included in the price of an Audi on demand rental. However, the company offers several options that can protect you and the car during your rental period.
Here’s a look at your options, the cost (based on my specific rental), and what each level covers:
You can combine all 3 options into 1 plan called “Everything You Need,” which was quoted at $54.07 daily for my rental.
Thankfully, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with primary rental car insurance as a perk of the card, so I didn’t need to purchase one of Audi on demand’s options at an additional cost.
Hot Tip: To keep yourself covered, check out some of the best credit cards for car rental insurance.
After my weekend rental with Audi on demand, I had no complaints. It was easy, I thought the price was fair compared to the other options I had that weekend, and I, of course, loved getting to drive a brand-new Audi around for the weekend.
The one drawback I could see that may persuade others to go with a traditional car rental agency is that you’re not able to pick up and drop off Audi on demand rentals at the airport, which I’ll get to below.
The booking process felt just like booking a car with any major rental agency. I made my reservation seamlessly on the Audi on demand iPhone app by selecting my desired dates and pickup and dropoff location. The app then showed me which cars were available, and I selected the Q5 as it was going to be the best option for that trip since I was traveling with a lot of luggage.
I received a confirmation email shortly after reserving the car. The reservation showed up immediately within the app under the My Trips tab and correctly showed that I had reserved a Q5 from the Audi North Miami dealership.
I provided my Chase Sapphire Reserve card as payment, entered the Visa Infinite promo code, and that was it! I wasn’t charged until my rental was complete.
This could be the one area in which Audi on demand may come up short against some of the traditional players.
As I mentioned above, you can’t pick up or drop off Audi on demand rentals at airports — Audi on demand is located in different spots in the markets in which it operates, often at Audi dealerships.
In Miami, I had to pick up and drop off the car at Audi North Miami, which was about a 25-minute ride from Miami International Airport (MIA) without traffic. It was a bit annoying having to hop in an Uber for almost a half hour to pick up my rental car, but I was lucky that there were no traffic backups on the way. It cost me about $30 to take an Uber to and from the dealership, so that’s an additional cost to consider if you’re thinking of renting from Audi on demand.
I arrived at the dealership, walked in with my bags, and was almost instantly asked if I was there to pick up an Audi on demand — they must have seen that image before.
I was directed toward the service area of the dealership where I found the dedicated Audi on demand desk (at the time of my rental, Audi on demand was still known as Silvercar by Audi).
The employee simply asked for my name, driver’s license, and credit card and then told me he’d be right back with the car.
Sure enough, he pulled into the service bay just a few minutes later in a brand-new gray Audi Q5. I met him by the car where he went over a few of the guidelines like reminding me that the car took premium fuel.
He also gave me a brief tutorial on the vehicle so I could have a general idea of how to operate the interior functions.
In just a few minutes, I was pulling out of the service bay in the Q5, ready to take on Miami!
Dropping off my Audi on demand was just as easy. I made sure to fill up the tank to full (with premium fuel, of course), pulled into the service area as if I were getting an oil change, left the keys in the car, and went back to the desk to say I was returning my rental. The employee did a quick check of the car and said that I was set to go and that I’d receive an email receipt for the rental, which I did just a few minutes later.
It’s worth noting that you can arrange delivery and pickup of your rental with the paid Delivery to You service. The price varies by market and location, but I was quoted an extra $75. I didn’t feel it was worth it as my accommodations were near the dealership, so I skipped it.
The rental process with Audi on demand is pretty straightforward, and there really are no surprises. But there are a couple of things I’d be sure to keep in mind before choosing Audi on demand over another rental agency.
When I needed a rental car, Audi on demand’s prices were competitive — and were made even more so thanks to the Visa Infinite discount I received. However, that may not always be the case. I like to use online travel agencies (OTAs) when picking a rental car because it shows you prices from all agencies so you can easily choose which one works best for your needs and budget.
Since you won’t be picking up and dropping off your Audi on demand rental at the airport, you’ll want to make sure that your pickup and dropoff point make sense for your trip. If you have to travel far distances just to pick up your rental car, it probably doesn’t make sense because you’ll pay to get there and from there back to the airport when you leave, not to mention the extra time it’ll add before you can actually start your trip.
You’ll also want to take note of the operating hours — especially if your flight timing is early morning or late at night.
You can, of course, have the car dropped off at and picked up from your hotel/vacation rental, but the price varies depending on the details of your trip.
I had a great experience with Audi on demand. My Q5 was brand-new and fun to drive, the booking process was easy, the price was reasonable, and the pickup and dropoff location worked well with the trip I had planned.
I wouldn’t hesitate to book with Audi on demand again, and I’ll be sure to check if it’s available for any future trips for which I need a rental car.
Yes, Audi on demand has been owned by Audi since 2017.
At Upgraded Points, we value Audi on demand Premium Rewards points at 9.5 cents apiece.
No, Audi on demand does not allow one-way rentals with different pickup and drop-off locations.
Unfortunately, Audi on demand doesn’t operate at airports anymore. You’ll have to rent your vehicles through Audi dealerships in various cities. You can also rent from Audi on demand in certain city centers in places like Miami, New York, and San Francisco.
Yes, Silvercar by Audi was rebranded as Audi on demand in late 2022.
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